Weather won out, but it was a blast

Monday morning, May 15, Presidio’s rocketry team departed to El Paso International Airport to fly to Manassas,Virginia to compete against 101 teams from approximately 25 different states of the country for the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is the world’s largest student rocket contest and a key piece of the aerospace and defense industry’s strategy to build a stronger U.S. workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It is the second time PHS members Leonardo Uribe, Alejandrina Elms, Paola Flotte, Aaron Bustamante, Adrian Escontrias, Dale Escontrias, Omar Udave, and Ramon Aguirre qualify with their rocket Agripino in this challenge. The competition was harsh. The environment negatively affected the outcome of the flight. The weather on the field in The Plains, Virginia was totally different from the weather in Presidio. Since the rocket was only tested in a dry environment, it was hard to adjust to the unusual weather so quickly and unexpectedly. The atmospheric moisture affected the reaction of the rocket in the process of launching it. “The weather was one major disadvantage that we could not prepare for,” said senior Ramon Aguirre. “I don´t know if you´ve noticed but Presidio is a very dry place with quite the opposite of the humid weather in Virginia changes in temperature. Humidity and winds are all contributing factors that affect the performance of the rocket and simply can’t be simulated.” Agripino had a perfect timing of 44 seconds, but due to the weather controversy, the perfect altitude wasn´t achieved. Presidio High School placed 77th place out of 101 teams in the country. An achievement like this coming from such a small town is something to be proud of. “We actually did better than expected,” Aguirre said. “The rocket launched and we didn´t get disqualified or you know, burnt to a crisp, so it was nice seeing that our score wasn’t that far off from other winning teams.”